Dodge, Dip, Dive, Duck, and Dodge

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  • Nice editorial. And nice method of integrating it with your blog. Like I mentioned in your blog on it, I agree that there should be a certain level of customer satisfaction without needing special attention. If they cannot provide the basic level of warranty for their product - I would wash my hands clean of them too. It's not petty, just a matter of self-preservation :-D.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • Steve,

    You have run into a flaw in Toshiba bios relative to Windows 7 I am living with it and yes I called Toshiba did not get any decent help, if it is not bios then it may be related to the Toshiba utilities in the box. I also used Microsoft posted way to disable the hibernate because it is holding about 30gig of my hard drive nothing worked. Now the latest it hibernates randomly good to know I am not alone.

    Kind regards,
    Gift Peddie

  • Sad thing is, I have come to expect this kind of thing. It's a case of searching for the rare company that doesn't do it rather than avoiding ones who do.

    I'm mainly speaking telcos here, but as the call centres move offshore, it's all going to go that way.

    My mate used to work for a University that had a service-based contract with their IT provider, allowing for so many failures and then a penalty would be imposed. So he'd ring up with a fault and the reply would be a flat 'we can't see that from our end' denial, then 10 minutes later the problem would magically fix itself, so that it couldn't be counted as an instance of failure.

    Providing the absolute minumum service and still meeting contractual requirements (where monitoring even exists) is and has been a major focus area for some time.

    Anyway (back slightly On Topic), I own a Macbook which runs Windows either virtually from OsX or natively by dual booting. Crazy to go any other way, I tell you. You'd never go back.


  • It's almost a complete cultural shift in the way support is handled these days. "Service" is no longer king and cost-cutting / price takes precedence. Think of the airlines that now charge for baggage, water, not booking online.. telcos will charge you for calling them, changing address, using credit card - its rediculous that we've all accepted that basic service now comes at a premium or not at all.

    I guess from a business perspective, once your competitor offers better prices than you, competing on service is almost a moot point.

  • I loved your entry today, it summarises my feelings about a lot of companies today - and getting dropped instead of being transferred seems to happen a lot more than in any company I've ever worked for (anything higher than 0!).

    I think you're right to write it - single Toshiba out and make them really embarrassed, although we all know many other companies do the same. We can only tackle them one at a time.

    And to the other poster about faults that are denied and then fixed, I absolutely and completely sympathise with you on that point. I used to experience that same thing even within the same organisation. Luckily they made me redundant for making too much noise about it 🙂

    Now I'm free to find a company that actually cares.

  • Don't you just love Customer Care?

    I am the Customer and you don't Care

    Madame Artois

  • I know one thing, I'd hate to work in a call centre... even if you wanted to help the company may not allow you to either through rubbish systems or just lack of care... guess many times stuck between a rock and a rottweiler...

    My ISP got bought out by another recently, on hearing the news I called up the new company and cancelled my contract. They didn't have much to say when I gave the response to the reason why "I don't like how your company operates."...

    Normally things move in circles... we'll hit the absolute bottom, then some bright spark will think ah service... that's what we can offer over our competitors... then that's when people will be able to move to an alternative.

    I am a PC man, by see the advantages of moving to MAC's...

  • It doesn't make any sense to me at all - I don't mind speaking to some Indian guy (allegedly called Dave) reading off a script in the first instance - sure, cut your customer care costs by all means, but invest in a core infrastructure for escalation to people who can make actual decisions, make sure you can always pass a call through or have a reliable same hour call back method, and you have my business for life.

    I've never really understood in what way this is difficult. HP do it reasonably well.

    I do have a mate who works for a third party laptop repair shop - apparently Toshibas do have excellent build quality (failure rate of about a third of other brands), but of course there are always the "lemon" models, and there are certain elements of their software I have issues with.

  • Actually the big companies use the same strategies to avoid responsabilities with the failure of products.

    1- If the product fail in Warranty, they change for a new one, the time spend to find the failure and fix it is to expensive.

    2- If the failure is out of warranty, the cost for fixing the problem it's so high that anyone wants to repair, it's better to buy a new one.

    3- If the problem is a design problem, the company change you the product for a new one again and again until the Warranty expires.

    4- Don't try to contact with some decision maker, it's imposible. If you are so furious that the following contacts are done by your lawyer, the company offers a compensation before you go to trials. The numbers are easy, for each customer decided to go to trials, you have more than 10000 that does nothing but cry.

    And the bigest problem is that this strategy is adopted for all big companies.

    The problem that you have with your Toshiba computer, i suffered with a BMW motorcycle and a Panasonic DVD and a ..........

    Regards from Spain

  • I had a similar poor 'customer care' experience with Dell. I eventually wrote a letter to the Chief Executive and received no reply. It felt as though they held their customers in contempt.

    Due to that experience, I won't in future use their products and have aired my experience with colleagues and friends, so hopefully they'll also shop elsewhere!

    I will attempt to source products from local independent suppliers.

  • I sympathise, I’ve had a parallel experience with a top of the range Sony VIO luggable. For 20 years I’ve gone

    Gateway: never again.

    Dell: problems but fixed after literally a couple of days on the phone and replacement unit, still running.

    HP: still running to this day,

    Toshiba: still running but shuts down when hot.

    With the Vio, the DC socket was loose when delivered – I thought it might be spring loaded design –seems it was broken. Fortunately??? the hard drive corrupted within the warrantee. The support web site is a ‘mare to navigate – I still can’t find a way to get back to the chat line. The chat took only an hour or two and collection was arranged for the Drive issue (I put a note in to ask if they could fix the loose DC connector whist they had the machine). The repair technician phoned – seems the dc connector was broken, he sent me an email with a picture of an unmarked DC socket at a peculiar angle, would I like to pay a (their words) “low” repair fee of £250 ($350 -$400)? I mentioned I had owned laptops for 20 years and never had a DC connector fail. I mentioned that when carried it was always in a purpose designed bag. I asked to speak to someone who could authorise the repair. There was no one apparently who could do so. The Laptop would not be repaired and returned until I had made a decision on the DC connector (this was not a quick conversation). I was asked to call back on a specific number when I had made the decision. The number was automated and I was asked to enter the number of the machine on the keypad. After four attempts at entering a number only to be cut off each time, I tried VIO sales. The next day I did get a call from the repair centre (apparently only because I had got through by the sales line). I asked for the machine to be returned with a loose but functioning (for how long?) dc socket.

    Sony repair phoned to see if the machine had been delivered (this may be a first). I said it was faulty as the DC socket was loose. They arranged for its collection. It’s currently with them.

    I previously avoided Sony because I believed they were fragile. I have not changed that view. I bought Sony because I thought that the support service would be good. My view is that it is not.

    I am a software developer for agency software this involves supporting customers. ( I start with the assumption that when a customer calls with a problem it is a real problem and I will help them fix it as quickly as possible (ok on occasion it has been the client disconnected from the network). I have a feeling that there is a clue in the description “customer support”.

  • It's interesting how this seams to be the same world wide, not limited to usa. It's also weird that no companies I know about takes advantage of the situation and provides what customers needs and wants, I believe most customers would pay a slight bit more if they know that company takes care of them.

  • I think everyone has experienced poor customer service whether from a technology company or in some other area.

    So far I have been fortunate to have gotten solid support from Dell, although I know MANY people who have experienced issues. My worst case was with HP so I don't buy or recommend HP anymore.

    My experience has been that small companies offer great support, but word gets out so they grow and you can kiss the good support goodbye. I had this happen with some software my company had purchased, support was great until the company was purchased by a large company.

    In many cases the consumer is at fault because we DO shop on price not on service. We are voting with our $'s.

  • I had an issue with a Toshiba laptop in 2008. It was about 13 months old. I had purchased a three year warranty. I would advise that. That way you are guaranteed a lemon-law for repairs. The problem was keyboard keys did not all work (I could use an external keyboard though so I knew it was hardware). They sent me a shipping box the next day. I sent it out (my expense, of course). I received it back 72 hours later and it worked fine. I was very impressed with Toshiba and their repair process. I think the extended warranty is the key answer here.

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